A group of strangers did the unthinkable to save panicked hikers at Utah's Zion National Park. Now, the footage of the whole ordeal is going viral.
As a flash flood took over Utah's Zion National Park last Thursday, a group of 60 panicked hikers along with children ranging from 1 to 8 may have felt that they were out of luck as the water quickly rose from their ankles to their knees. But a group of strangers reacted instantly and formed a human chain so the stranded hikers could be guided to safety before the waters rose even higher.
In the footage, a boy is seen clinging to an adult as about 12 people stand steady, guiding the group and making sure they cross over without problems.
According to Jarrod Finkenthal, one of the good Samaritans who worked to help the hikers, the group of strangers who stepped up to help were mostly relatives.
“It was really cool seeing my nephew and brothers, everyone lined up together, and helping them,” he explained.
Noting the hikers were having a hard time crossing over, Finkenthal continued, they all decided to act in unison.
“We all noticed that they were struggling at the same time and we all went in at the same time," he said. "We all helped out as best as we could.”
Jhonatan Gonzalez, one of the 12 people in the human chain, said the the waters quickly turned into a waist-high rushing river, prompting the group to act fast.
“There's no way out you just have to go through,” he said.
Gonzalez, who pulled out his phone to record some brief moments of the whole ordeal, said he felt truly helpful that day.
“It felt good," he said. "It was a chilling experience. It almost made me feel teary, just seeing how everyone was helping each other.”
While this incident had a happy ending, flash floods at Zion have been serious and even fatal in the past, with at least seven people being killed in 2015 after a flood took over a deep canyon.
Ranger John Marciano said that while officials work hard to warn people about extreme weather problems, people still get caught up in flash floods sometimes. People are warned to get to high ground immediately once they notice a flood.
Hopefully, this video will serve as both a warning to hikers heading to Zion and as an example of how people can do good by working together, no matter how difficult the circumstances.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/David W Cerny